The Living World of Alquennas has a varied technological level depending on which area is currently being explored on the planet. Technology ranges from primitive stone knapping cultures to that of the early Renaissance period of Earth. Between these two extremes, there are an uncountable number of variations on what the technological level is given for a specific culture. The average technological level of Alquennas would be equivalent to that of 12th century Earth with variations.
The use of magick has fostered advancements in technology in many cultures and countries. Cultures have become accustomed to what a user of magick can bring to them and are not willing to part with these "Luxuries" once the user of magick is gone. Additionally, cultures that have outlawed magick often have found it necessary to use technology to counter magick and to prevent its use from creeping back into their domain.
Losses of Technology
The Living World of Alquennas has suffered through four great wars with the Horde. There is not a single continent or country of Alquennas that has been spared the wrath and ravages of the whips and swords of the Horde. Much advancement, especially in the area of public works, have been destroyed, rebuilt, and destroyed again during the Wars with the Horde. The minimum length of these wars has been several hundred years. There have been great advancements in some areas during the wars, especially in military design and thinking. However, many of the scholars or engineers that have created or developed technology have been killed during the wars.
Main Sources of Power for Alquennas
The main sources of power that are used on Alquennas are animal power, wind power and waterpower.
Every culture utilizes animal power for everything from travel to operating machinery, including wells and mills. In addition, using animals for transportation on the land is essential for trade and communications between cultures and communities. Various advancements of harnesses, including the horse collar and elephant harness, have increased the loads that these beasts of burden could pull.
Some cultures on Alquennas have developed advanced uses of sentient power as well as animal power. These cultures are known for having surplus populations available for labor, both their own as well as captive or slave labor. The most well known of these cultures is the Horde.
Several cultures are adept at harnessing the power of the wind. The most notable use of wind power is for travel on the rivers, seas and oceans of Alquennas. The second most notable use of wind power is for powering mills. At first glance, most would think that the mills powered by the wind would be used to grind corns into flour. Some are used for that purpose. However, most of the windmills are using screw pumps (Archimedean Screws) to move water. They are used to irrigate lands, pumping out mines, and pumping out flooded lowlands.
Most cultures are aware that waterpower, if harnessed correctly, will provide them with an immense supply of power. However, few cultures have been able to consistently harness their sources of waterpower. If they have, they have lost the technology during attack or subjugation from the Horde.
There are some exceptions to this. The engineers of Azin and Terralen are masters of hydrodynamics. Over the centuries, they have proven this repeatedly. The Grand Mill outside of Terralen's capital of Ka' Tal harnesses three overshot waterwheels to power 27 eight foot diameter millstones.
In TK 950, during a celebration at the city of Corbis in Azin, dwarven and human engineers were challenged by haeflin engineers to create a better power source for use in the city's mills. The haeflins wagered a month's pay as well as their silence for a month. The humans and dwarves could not refuse such a wager. It ended up in a tie when both teams came up with the overshot waterwheel on their own. Since that wager, most of the waterwheels that have been created have been overshot waterwheels. Overshot waterwheels have their water supply pour down on the waterwheel. The major advantage of the overshot waterwheel is its efficiency is around 75% providing more power compared to the undershot waterwheel. Undershot waterwheels, at their greatest efficiency, are around 25%. This forces the undershot wheel to require greater amounts of water to do the same amount of work as an overshot waterwheel.
The sea and ocean going races and cultures have been in a race to make the fastest, largest, and cheapest to run vessels since the inhabitants of Alquennas first took to water travel. As early as 1300 BK, many scholars, philosophers, and tradesmen have looked to the power to be found in the movement of ocean waves - what is now known as Wave Action. Since then, the use of Wave Action has helped power sea and ocean craft (The Plita). It also has been used to power mills (Noria) and used to polish stones among other varied uses.
The Age of Ships
Alquennas does not have the parasite Teredos (shipworms). This greatly extends the life of wooden vessels. These vessels can be used to teach new shipwrights the techniques to construct ships. It also allows for journeymen and master shipwrights to experiment on new designs.
The first attempts to create bacons on shore to guide ships and allow them to find their way in the dark dates back to the Gallison Estralla Empire. That Empire would light bonfires on the shores in patterns that allowed the ships to plot their location on cloudy nights. What we would recognize as a true light house was developed towards the end of the Gallison Estralla Empire's reign on Alquennas. For thousands of years, the methods and the technology were lost to time. In BK 600 in on the cost of Kenda fisherman began to build simple wooden towers with torches to help them find their landings for their fishing boats. This idea began to spread with some improvements.
In TK 545, the Looking Glass was invented. Byron the Artificer ath Azin attempted to use lenses to amplify the light from a candle. After 10 years, he had discovered an expensive way to accomplish this task. The true break through came when the lantern replaced the candle.
In TK 950, the perfection of the Glass Mirror allowed artificers and engineers to reflect and aim the light from the beacons, thus amplifying their power so that their light can be seen from greater distances.
The Light House at the Port of Silk is one of the tallest man made structures on Alquennas. Standing at 475 feet high, it towers over the port city and the country side. It benefits from all of the latest advancements in lens and fire technology. It is powered by oil lamps and the light is reflected through a lens by silvered back mirrors. It is called the Lady's Torch or the Lady's Light by many. It was built in TK 1000. Over the 50 years that its light has been lit, the Light House at the Port of Silk has saved thousands of ships from certain doom on stormy nights.
On the Arid plains of Terla, the Stirrup was introduced on the field of battle. This allowed mounted warriors to strike from a distance with longer weapons
The country of Azatar, using water powered mills, began the mass production of paper. The government of Azatar began having copies of tax rolls provided to their citizens in BK 815. In BK 800, they began exporting paper to other countries.
The art and mysteries of the magnet was first discussed in a letter of a soldier of the city of Lords to his father. Magnets have been used in many devices and healing arts.
A mage known as Kemorian from Terla working with a group of Dwarven brewers from the Xendarna hills in Xendarna learn about a root only found in the foothills before the Crystal Mountains of Azin. The group travels to Azin were they notice that crops near the foothills were not affected by the plague. Soon enough the people of Azin gather many samples of the plant/root known as Algo. The government of Azin provided a tower and equipment for the team. The root is very powerful. While working on extracting the potency of the root, they discovered how to distill materials. One thing led to another and the first fortified spirits were made. It should be noted that the cure was created from the Algo root after the fortified spirits were made.
After two long years of research, a cure for the plague that will work almost everywhere has been developed. The mage known as Kemorian ath Azin is awarded the highest award from several countries and is made a Dwarven friend. It should be noted that it is unclear if Kemorian was made a Dwarven Friend because of the Cure or for creating the process to make fortified spirits.
Kenda builders are the first to embrace and use Treadwheel cranes to build structures in BK 540 and by BK 520 the Treadwheel crane was in wide use throughout Kenda.
Compasses began to enter widespread use for naval travel thanks to the skilled craftsmen in Terla. They were able to mass produce these devices.
The Realm of Sea Fair began experimenting with tidal mills to grind grains as early as BK 520. In BK 503, the Realm of Sea Fair exclusively used tidal mills to grind grains. The engineers of the Realm of Sea Fair are experimenting with other uses for the tidal mills.
Heavy Wheeled Plow
The city of Lords announced that their master of machines developed a heavy wheeled plow that contains an iron blade. This plow increases the amount of land that can be plowed by several times compared to the amount prepared by a standard plow.
The Heavy Wheel Plow is now in use in most countries in the world. The city of Lords exports four to five hundred a year.
In the fruitful valleys near Dresden, several wine makers gather their resources and created the first horizontal wine press. This simple device revolutionized the world of winemaking.
In a town in Kenda, monks devised a method for drilling small-shafted wells that used the natural pressure of the land to force water up from the depths. The ancients had a name for this type of well. They were and are known as Artesian wells.
The Spinning Wheel
The Isle of Hindra created the spinning wheel in BK 400. It wasn't until the Azinian ship Make Peace accidentally landed on Hindra in BK 190, that the Spinning Wheel made its appearance on other continents.
The Dwarven Weapons Master known as "Sharp Stone" of the White Mountains gifted the King of Azin with a Grind Stone. Once the item was explained, the true depth of the gift was understood. Within 45 days of receiving the Grind Stone, the artisans of Azin had produced their own version.
The Grand Marshal of Azin announces that Robert Julian has been awarded the star of Corbis for his creation of the horseshoe. The horseshoe allows a horse to travel on rocky terrain and carry heavier loads. The first shoes were made of Iron. In TK 900, the first steel (very expensive) horseshoes were introduced for knights and high nobles only.
The Realm of Sea Fair in BK 15 was under siege from rats and mice. The government offered a prize to anyone who could create an effective trapping system. IN BK 14, the miller Hans Frent displayed his Rat Trap design and won the prize. Within three years, the rat and mouse population had decreased in the country by 60%. The Realm of Sea Fair begins to export Rat Traps and Mouse Traps to other countries. Their simple design is easy to produce and is very effective dealing with rats and mice.
In the midlands of Kenda, it has been discovered that the usage of Hops in brewing beer extends the life of the beer and adds a great deal of flavor.
Peter the Fuller, servant in the York Household, developed a functional buttoning system for clothing.
Peter Fuller is awarded the Cloth Guild's highest award for the Button Fastening system he developed. It has revolutionized clothing and the clothing guilds.
On the Kenda Plains, the introduction of Spurs made the mounted warrior a great deal more effective while allowing the warrior the use of both hands during combat.
In the depths of the Ocean of Sand in Terla, reasonably accurate, dependable, and - most importantly - affordable, hourglasses are being constructed. The major advantage of the hourglass over the water clock is that the sand in the hourglass will not freeze.
Dwarven and human engineers in Azin create a grain drying system using lamp oil to fire a burner to dry not cook the harvested grains. This prevents damp grain, thus prolonging the grains storage life. Wet grain becomes moldy, dry grain does not. This system is shown to the High King of Azin who orders it into production. Over the next several months grain dryers are fabricated and installed throughout the country of Azin.
Vatican City announces that Bishop Monty Themes has created an important element to creating the gothic monuments that have been ordered by the Pope. His invention is called the Rib Vault. It is speculated that it will most likely replace the use of the Groin Vault allowing the monuments to the most holy to climb skyward as no other monuments have managed to climb in the past.
The Dwarves of the White Mountains introduce to the High King of Azin, a Steel Crossbow. It is the first of its kind.
Several artificers throughout the world developed, within several years of each other, the looking glass that could extend the range of one's vision up to 10 times.
In the country of Valinnia, the Weavers guild has awarded their workmanship award to Abigail Ath Harbor View for creating the horizontal loom that is operated by foot-treadles. This style of loom is faster and more efficient in creating cloth. It triples the amount of cloth that can be made.
The country of Talis has announced that they have created a device that they are calling a "Horse Collar". This permits a horse or centaur to pull greater loads with less strain on their bodies.
It is believed that Dwarven miners shared the design of the wheelbarrow with Azinian and Kendan miners in TK 550. By TK 610, the High King of Azin ordered that wheelbarrows be used in all royal construction and mining projects.
Soap production for export started in TK 820 as a semi-liquid form. In TK 845, the introduction of "Hard Soaps" by Terlan merchants caused the widespread export and use of soap.
Segmental Arch Bridge
The Dwarves of the White Mountains of Azin have constructed what is considered to be the first segmental arch bridge on Alquennas.
The artisans of Moshven have begun creating glass mirrors with lead lining the backs of the mirrors.
The engineers of the Realm of the Azul-Valley created the first vertical Windmills. In TK 990 and by TK 999, the use of vertical windmills spread throughout all of the realms of Alquennas.
The painter, Artain Max, of Talis began using oil to add details to tempera paintings. He was able to create stable oil paint mixtures in TK 1001.
Azinian and Kendan paper makers create a process to mark paper goods to reduce counterfeiting of the goods.
Humans learned the secrets of the blast furnace, thus allowing for greater pours of metals. This does not include steel as the secret to mass produce steel still evades Humans. It is rumored that the Dwarves have known and have constructed blast furnaces for over several thousand years.
Azinian metal smiths and engineers design the world's first water hammer to assist in hammering out all metals including iron. The water hammers replaced a great deal of the manual hammering of items. However, in armor and weapon making, manual hammering is still used almost exclusively.
The Healer's Guild of Kenda begins to establish Quarantine rules for dealing with travelers coming into the country, both by sea and by Gate Portal. During outbreaks of the Red Fever and the Black Death, quarantines are imposed for up to two weeks for Red Fever and 40 days for the Black Death. By the end of TK 1021, most countries had followed suit and introduced procedures for quarantine.
In Azin, the 2nd and 3rd Azin Royal Engineers who were working with the Dwarves of the Forked Mountains designed a rolling mill to produce sheets of metal with even thicknesses. The rolling mill is usable with lead, gold, silver, and copper. They are working on a rolling mill to work with iron and steel.
In TK 1045, Artimus Goddard Davis of Kallon put his years of observations into effect with regards to lenses and how they alter visual perception. Using convex lenses, he was able to make spectacles to assist those suffering from Far-Sightedness.
35th day of the year
Artimus Goddard Davis ath Kallon presents the Duke of Kallon with a new type of clock. The clock is weight driven and does not require water or sand to keep track of time.
Healing and Health
Healing is also one of those technologies that have fluctuated with the stresses provided by the wars with the Horde. There are extensive treatises found on the various racial anatomies thanks to the proliferation of wounded and dead available to study. Thus, the knowledge and treatment of wound care and gross physical injuries is quite advanced. As a result of Elven influences, the knowledge and treatment of general health conditions and some illnesses through herbalism, diet, and other remedies is also well known.
Knowledge of disease and its causes is still somewhat spotty. However, thanks to both Dwarven and Elven teachings, most cultures have picked up the ideas of cleanliness, sanitation, and general separation of trash and filth from habitation. This also means that bathing is also not as frowned upon as it was on Earth in this same period. Several cultures still maintain public baths and there are well-known spas and healing areas that have formed around famous hot springs. Disease is less prevalent than on Earth, but it is more likely to cause problems when major outbreaks occur.
Magick has also fostered a general increase in the health of Alquennas' population. This, along with the knowledge available through other methods, means that the various medically related professions are respected. Some types of healers are preferred over others and quackery still abounds in any culture but there are known and respected Healing guilds. These guilds are quick to stop obviously dangerous charlatans when they find them.
Items that will not be found on Alquennas
The Living World of Alquennas does not know the material called gunpowder and/or black powder. The human culture that would have eventually developed it was wiped out thousands of years before they left their caves by the Horde.